ShopAtHomeSelect offers users rebates on products they are already using. That sounds good, right? There's another side to the story, told by Ben Edelman. The software is often installed without disclosure and consent though security exploits along with other adware/spyware. I've seen it myself. Ben also describes other problems including what he calls tricky consent and wrongful operations related to affiliate clicks and commissions, Some have labeled SAHS' behavior as stealing affiliate commissions. ABestWeb Affiliate Marketing Forum users are not mourning the loss of SAHS from Commission Junction. They are, in fact, overjoyed.
What does ShopAtHomeSelect do on a user's computer? To quote SpywareGuide.com:
ShopAtHomeSelect is a Winsock 2 Layered Service Provider that redirects visits to merchant sites in order to take the affiliate fees from them automatically. Each visit to a merchant site is recorded by ShopAtHomeSelect's servers with a unique ID that could be used to track browsing habits.
It causes pop-ups and pop-unders on the desktop, tracks the user's web browsing activity and reports information back to its home servers. Commission Junction, possibly the largest affiliate marketing network, has high profile clients including RealNetworks, Home Depot, Buy.com, Citibank, REI and more names you'd recognize.
Brian Livingston explains in detail the significance of Commission Junction's action against ShopAtHomeSelect. Earlier this year Commission Junction terminated contracts with 180solutions and eXact Advertising. Commission Junctions' affiliate members are asking who is next. Brian Livingston states his research indicates Commission Junction is on a roll to pin point the bad guys. He will have another installment of the story next week.